Coming from a concert photography background, Chantal Gainous isn’t afraid to let intense colors and dramatic lighting take center stage in her work. Creating under the name King Chachiii, she is a Tallahassee native who made her start representing the local music scene in 2015. Having found its coverage to be pretty lacking, and with a love for live music, she took it upon herself to fill the gap.
She did that exclusively for about a year — all the while connecting with different artists through the hip hop shows she covered — before beginning to branch out. She delved into more conceptual photography, executing creative direction by and for some of those same local artists, as well as with models and brands like Talaya Jessie Design.
A self-described “jack of all trades who likes to bounce around,” she also won’t shy away from booking graduation, event, and lifestyle photo shoots when the opportunity arises. No matter the style, it’s apparent that Chachiii never loses sight of the human element informing the portrait or concept.
Her graduation work pops with bright, joyful accents and lots of light; posed models are often juxtaposed against blocks of color, lined with soft, deep shadows. Perhaps most striking are her moodiest pieces: they feature dark tones bathed in swaths of light, colored or otherwise — it’s a bold spectacle, evocative of her concert roots.
“I feel like my shooting style is unique in a world where a lot of photographers are all trying to achieve the same style and just stay in one avenue,” she writes, but admits she still has “a lot to learn and explore” in her craft.
Nonetheless, Chachii is maybe the total package? Combining her talents into a publicist/photographer/media coordinator triple hybrid threat, she currently has a position with WRLD Entertainment, a production and marketing company with whom she helps put on shows all over Florida.
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